- Associated Press - Thursday, October 8, 2015

BURLEY, Idaho (AP) - A south-central Idaho mayor is threatening to veto a city-council approved exemption allowing school kids to raise rabbits.

Burley Mayor Merlin Smedley said Tuesday that he is totally against the exemption, which was unanimously approved by the City Council, The Times-News reports (https://bit.ly/1ZglpUn ).

“My personal opinion is I’m totally against it,” Smedley said. “I don’t want farm animals in the city.”

Burley has an ordinance preventing residents from owning horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens or poultry anywhere in the city. There is already an exemption for the fairgrounds and baby chickens younger than four weeks.

School officials requested an exemption to raise rabbits on school district property for educational purposes. The rabbits would be tended by alternative students, many of whom live in the city and do not have the ability to raise animals.

“For the type of students I have at the high school, it will make a big difference,” said Jaysa Fillmore, science and agriculture teacher at Cassia High School, who would oversee the program.

The school already has a ventilated shed to keep the rabbits in and money for air conditioning. Fillmore said the rabbits would not be pets, but be raised as meat rabbits for sale.

Smedley said he needs to see more information about how the rabbits will be cared for..

“I still have reservations about this project and I want to see more, because as far as I’m concerned, I will veto it,” Smedley said. “I want to see what you’ve got going, how you’re going to raise them and how you’re going to take care of them in the summer, because they are living animals and I don’t want them abused.”


Information from: The Times-News, https://www.magicvalley.com

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